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Rootbound tanks

Question to the APD gurus..

Karen said:

> >Will a deeper substrate help slow down/negate the tendency for very dense
> >root mats?  In nature the substrate is very deep and plants seem to do
> >fine for millions of years with no one uprooting them.  Would a substrate
> >thicker than about 4 inches help at all?  Somewhere in the 6-8 inch range
> >perhaps?
> Deeper substrates will somewhat delay the time it takes for a tank to
> become rootbound.  But remember that in nature, a stand of a single species
> of plant is likely to be larger than the entire footprint of your tank.  As
> a stand of plants grows and crowds into another species, sooner or later,
> one species wins, and one loses and dies back.  Without our interference,
> eventually, the same thing happens in the aquarium.  A single species will
> dominate, and take over, crowding out other species.  It will usually be a
> plant that can survive well on the particular mix of nutrients available
> from the water column in spite of a totally rootbound substrate.
> Most of us prefer to maintain a "garden" tank with a number of different
> species.  In order to achieve this, we must interfere, and periodically
> uproot species that are taking over to make room for others.  This is
> exactly what we do in the flower garden as well.

Even with periodical uprooting, I notice that crypts root mass increasing
in the substrate. The substrate around these plant clusters feel spongy
and in places raised an inch over the average substrate. Earlier these
crypts were large plants with lots of leaves, now they are individually
"skinny" with not more than 4 leaves per plant, even though the cluster
of plants is dense.

What would you recommend in this situation?

in Bangalore, South India